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Easy outdoor workouts for the big kid in all of us

April 06 2022 6 min read

Hula-hooping, hopscotch and skipping; that’s child’s play right? Not necessarily. It turns out our PE teachers may have had it right all those years ago – experts at Fitness First have confirmed that a 45-minute session of skipping, star jumps and tag actually burns more calories than jogging. These childhood favourites burn 465 calories, while pounding the pavement uses up only 300 calories. Remember how fit and active were you when you were six? Playing around outside actually uses lots of energy and is one of the easiest forms of functional training. So if you’re looking to boost your fitness this summer, it’s time to go back to school!


Instead of jogging, change up your routine by jumping rope. Whether you do it by yourself or with some friends, skipping is a fun and easy game. It’s a great cardio workout using your calf, wrist and quad muscles. Fifteen minutes of skipping burns 215 calories and burns the equivalent of a 200g tuna pasta salad.


All those stop-start darting movements in tag are actually great for cardio. Running in short bursts, stopping quickly and changing direction are all a part of interval training, but it’s just a lot more fun when you’re chasing someone versus listening to a personal trainer yell at you! Tag burns 115 calories for every 15-minute game and is the lunchbox equivalent of half a muffin.


An indoor spin class has many benefits, including improving weight loss and muscle definition, but why not make the most of the summer weather and get outside? It may require a little more planning than using a stationary bike at the gym (you’ll need to check the weather forecast of course!) but riding a real bike means that you’ll be outdoors and breathing in fresh air. Cycling works the quads, hamstrings and calves and burns 190 calories every 15 minutes. A short bike ride will burn off a 35g Flapjack bar or a Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut.


Let’s face it, wall balls isn’t the most scenic part of a workout. It’s not really that thrilling when you’re working out on your own, so grab a friend and play a game of old-school catch. You’re still working out the same muscles – in particular shoulders, biceps, triceps and your core – you just have someone to share the fun. Play catch with any kind of ball, or if you want to get really retro, dig out your old Velcro Grip Ball and head back to the ‘90s. A 15-minute game of catch burns 30 calories, or the equivalent of half a fruit bar.


Step up your star jumps this summer and incorporate some squats. Instead of simply jumping out and in, land in a deep sumo squat. This will give you a deeper quad and glutes workout, along with the cardio, shoulders and hamstrings exercise you get from a normal jumping jack. To boost your star jumps even more, you can do a variation of a burpee with a star jump instead of the straight jump. Fifteen minutes of star jumps uses 135 calories and burns off a 25g packet of Walkers Ready Salted crisps.


Who had their first date (or first kiss) in a roller rink? Back in the day, roller blading was one of the best places for a date or a Friday night with friends when you weren’t quite old enough to head out on the town. Roller blading has made a 2016 comeback and is now one of the coolest hipster sports. It’s actually a great cardio workout too, especially for your quads, hamstrings and calves. Fifteen minutes of roller blading burns off half a packet of Pringles, or the equivalent of 200 calories. What are you waiting for? Get your skates on, get outside and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts!